A Comparative Study to Determine the Effect of Age and Parity on Vaginal Epithelial Cells Diameters


The vagina is lined by stratified sequamous epithelium which is under the effect of hormonal & environmental factors. The vaginal epithelium is poorly studied & very little & restricted studies made about this subject. This cross-sectional study is aimed at studying the effect of age & parity on vaginal epithelial cells diameter. It was conducted in Al-Bakarly primary health center in Hilla. 82 women who attend the center for various reasons were recruited. After taking history & physical examination, vaginal swabs were taken to obtain vaginal epithelial cells, the slides examined under light microscope to measure vaginal epithelial cell diameter in five epithelial cells & the mean was taken for each swab. A significant difference in mean cell diameter was found in different age groups.The least diameter (5.35 µm) in those aged ≤20 years while the largest diameter (6.50 µm) in those aged 31-40 years. A significant difference in mean epithelial cell diameter was also found in women of different parity. There was a significant increment in mean cell diameter with increasing parity. The conclusion of this study is that there is a significant effect of both age & parity on vaginal epithelial cell diameter & these factors must be considered when interpretting vaginal swabs & smears.